Did Life On Earth Originate From Zombie Microbes?

I just wanted to put up a link to a nice story on panspermia, the idea that life began elsewhere in the universe and was somehow transported to Earth. The story comes from a Wired article I stumbled across and gives a new twist to an old idea.

In its modern form, panspermia imagines microbes catching rides in rocks blown across the galaxy via asteroid impacts on life-bearing worlds. But it may be that the microbes can't survive the interstellar journey. The new twist, proposed a couple of years ago, is that, even if the microbes are dead when the rocks crash to Earth, the information in their DNA might play a role in triggering or helping life here.

The scientific article the piece is based on is clearly VERY speculative. I don't know its fate but it is a cool idea to get you started on this shortened work week.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from